// Rally FAQs

// What is performance rally racing?

Rally car racing is modified street-legal production cars racing as fast as possible on underdeveloped roads (stages) in any weather conditions against the clock. Cars will slip, slide, and jump through miles of roads trying not to hit rocks and trees. A navigator accompanies the driver verbally issuing instructions on what turns are coming. The car with the fastest stage time wins the stage. The car with the lowest combined stage time wins the rally event.

Here is a brief explanation and example of rally car performance racing: WHAT IS RALLY?

// How do I get started in rallying?

Becoming a driver is a big commitment that takes time, money and hard work. First, you should check out a rally in person, either as a spectator or volunteer worker. Being a volunteer at a rally will enable you to meet with teams, drivers and rally officials, ask them questions, and get a general sense of what it really takes to be involved at any given level. Next step would be to read the rule book - there are some very specific restrictions outlined in the Rally America rule book that you should be aware of before purchasing or building a rally car.

This is a very basic overview. For more information please visit the HOW TO GET STARTED IN RALLY page.

// Can I build my own rally car?

Certainly, but if it’s your first time, expect more headaches and higher costs than if you were to buy a quality used rally car. (Check online at www.rallyclassified.com).

Before you do anything, read the Rally America rule book from front to back and make sure you note the rules regarding safety requirements for all rally cars. Also, new drivers (with little or no previous rally or race experience) must start in a two wheel or all wheel drive, non-turbo rally car. Refer to the rule book for details by CLICKING HERE.

// What does it mean to volunteer at a rally?

Rallies are only possible with the help of hundreds of volunteers that do everything from spectator control to help with timing and scoring. As a volunteer you will have the chance to watch the rally from the best locations – spectator control volunteers get to stand in the best spots, closest to the action. You’ll also get to meet teams, drivers and rally officials for a true insider experience. Every rally could always use more volunteers, so don’t hesitate to sign up. (Click here to become an official Rally America volunteer).

// How do you attend a rally and how much are tickets?

Rallies are usually free to the public! You may need to pay for a spectator guide, which will give you all the details on the designated spectator areas. You may only watch a rally from these designated areas. However many rallies offer these spectator guides free of charge at events, and even if you do have to pay, the guides are usually under $10! Most events keep the rally route a secret until just before the event begins, therefore you usually cannot get detailed spectator info in advance of the rally weekend. It is best to use this website and the event’s website to find lodging, schedule and spectator info.

// How do I apply for media credentials?

Media credentials are offered for each Rally America National Championship event and reserved for media members on assignment. Please visit rally-america.com/credentials.php for media guidelines and application forms. The Rally America Regional Championship events may or may not offer media credentials. Please direct all inquiries to media@rally-america.com.

// What is a National and Regional Championship?

Rally America organizes a six event National Championship (Click here for the calendar: http://rally-america.com/events/2012/) where teams compete nationally for the overall Championship or car class championship. National events are typically cover two days of competition to determine the winner.

Regional Rally Championships are a collection of events in a given geographic area to reduce costs for the grassroots competitor. Rally America typically sanctions over 20 regional events and organized into four regional championships (See http://rally-america.com/events/2012/#regionals). Regional events can take place at a National event or be a “stand-alone” event.

// Is there a prize fund?

Rally America does not offer a prize fund. Competitors race for bragging rights and for the passion of the sport.

// What kinds of cars compete in rally racing?

Rally racing consists of a variety of 4 Wheel-Drive (4WD) and 2 Wheel-Drive (2WD) vehicles modified to tackle the tough terrain and unpredictable weather conditions. At the high-powered range competitors will choose turbocharged 4WD and proven models, such as the Subaru WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

2WD is a popular drivetrain and offers the most variety and competitive vehicles in the sport. Fans can expect to see a sampling of Volkswagens, Fords, Mazdas and Hondas in the production classes and more powerful Group 5 classes.

// What are car classes?

Rally America organizes seven car classes based on a set of rules to provide different levels of competition.

Rally America National Championship Car Classes

Open Class – This very broad class allows for a tremendous amount of technical innovation. As with all performance rally classes, the cars must retain their production based appearance, but under the hood, virtually anything goes, turbo charging and all wheel drive are absolutely essential.

Super Production Class – For modern, high performance all wheel drive vehicles with very limited modifications.  Only a small step down in speed from Open Class, but a large step down in competitor cost. The primary difference is the allowance for brake modifications in Super Production enabling modern cars with large brakes to fit smaller brake systems to fit 15” gravel rally wheels and tires.

2 Wheel Drive Class - “Spectacular” describes a class where power is effectively restricted only by the limitations of 2 wheel drive.  Big turbos, big engines, and big “rooster tails” of dirt rule this class. 

Rally America Regional Championship Car Classes

Open Class-  See above.

Super Production Class – See above. 

Open Light Class - A class for normally aspirated all wheel drive cars under 2.65 liters.

Production GT Class - Following the showroom stock foundation of Production Class, GT cars are more powerful and often are turbocharged. These all wheel drive cars are allowed adjusted engine displacements over 2.65 liters.

Production Class - Performance Rally’s version of “Showroom Stock”, this class features primarily small displacement 2WD cars that are virtually unaltered, except for the safety requirements, with respect to manufacturer‘s production specifications.

Group 5 Class - The same rules as national 2 wheel drive.

Group 2 Class - A normally aspirated, small displacement, two-wheel drive class that otherwise follows the “anything goes” format of the Open and Group 5 classes, but provides excellent competition opportunities for cost sensitive competitors and manufacturers.

// Rally America Monthly Newsletter